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Kings Have Deep Goaltending Pipeline With Addition of George

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The Los Angeles Kings have always had that star goaltender between the pipes.

Rogie Vachon, Jonathan Quick, Felix Potvin, and Stephane Fiset are some of the well-known names that have protected the net for the Kings.

However, how many years has it been since Los Angeles has had goaltenders in its system who could one day be NHL starters?

After the recent draft pick of goaltender Carter George, the Kings now have three goaltenders who have future number-one status.

The Kings have goaltending stars in the pipeline.

Erik Portillo

Goaltender Erik Portillo was not always a property of Los Angeles. He was originally a third-round draft pick (67 overall) of the Buffalo Sabres in the 2019 NHL Draft. He was a bright prospect but could not come to terms with the Buffalo franchise. That is when the Sabres traded his draft rights to Los Angeles in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. Soon after, he would come to an amateur tryout with the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Ontario Reign.

On April 22, 2023, Portillo was signed to a two-year, entry-level contract through the 2023-24 season. That is all he needed to prove himself. After three successful seasons with the University of Michigan Wolverines of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, he made his pro debut this season with the Reign.

He posted a record of 24-11-3 with a goals-against-average of 2.50, a save percentage of .918, and two shutouts. It was a noteworthy season for a 6-foot-6 and 220-pound goaltender who has a high upside and could be a number-one starter in the near future.

Carter George

The most recent addition to the goaltender pipeline, Carter George, was selected 57th overall in the 2024 NHL Draft by Los Angeles. The 6-foot-0 and 161-pound George has been successful throughout his career, which began with the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League during the 2022-23 season. During that season, he posted a record of 7-3 with a 2.41 GAA and a .907 save percentage.

This season for Owen Sound, he posted a record of 23-21-9 with a 3.30 GAA, a .907 save percentage, and four shutouts. He won gold at the 2023 Hlinka Gretzky Cup and again at the 2024 Canada U18 tournaments. He combined to post a record of 10-0 with a GAA of 2.29 and a .902 save percentage.


Hampton Slukynsky

Hampton Slukynsky was drafted by Los Angeles 118th overall in the fourth round of the 2023 NHL Draft. Since then, he has posted impressive numbers to get him noticed in the hockey world. In 2022-23 with the United States Developmental Program (USDP), he played a single game and played 32 minutes, making 213 saves. He joined the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League (USHL) and began to play better than a fourth-round pick. This season, he posted a record of 28-3 with a 1.86 GAA, a .923 save percentage, and five shutouts. In the playoffs, he was as good as in the regular season. In 12 games, his 9-3 record garnered attention, as did his .931 save percentage, 1.59 GAA, and one shutout.

All three have immense potential and the skill set to be the Kings’ number-one goaltender in the near future. George and Slukynsky are a few years away, but with his play last season, Portillo is knocking on the door.

It has been a while since the Kings have been stocked with talent at the goaltending position.
Los Angeles’s future is bright between the pipes.

PHOTO: LA Kings Insider

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